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Particle Pollution Designations

Particle Pollution Designations - Where You Live

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Initial Designations for States and Territories

EPA strengthened the annual fine particle standard to 12 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) in 2012.  After working closely with the states, and some tribes, EPA is completing the routine Clean Air Act process to identify areas as either “nonattainment”, “unclassifiable/attainment”, or “unclassifiable.” Once designations are effective, they guide actions states, tribes and EPA must take to improve or preserve air quality in each area.  EPA will work with the states and tribes to share the responsibility of reducing fine particle pollution. 

The tables below list the state areas and counties within them that EPA has designated nonattainment and unclassifiable.  The last table lists areas for which EPA is deferring its final decision. 

EPA is designating all other areas of the country “unclassifiable/attainment.”  These areas have monitoring data that shows they meet the standard or EPA has reviewed available data and determined they are likely to be meeting the standard and not contributing to a nearby violation.

See also: Recommendations from States and EPA Responses

Area Designations for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 Standard

Nonattainment areas:  counties with monitors measuring a violation of the standard as well as nearby counties that contribute the problem by emitting fine particle pollution, or pollutants that form it. 

State Area Name EPA Designated Nonattainment Counties
CA Imperial County, CA Imperial, CA (p)
San Joaquin Valley Air Basin, CA Fresno, CA 
Kern, CA (p) 
Kings, CA 
Madera, CA 
Merced, CA 
San Joaquin, CA
Stanislaus, CA 
Tulare, CA 
Los Angeles-South Coast Air Basin, CA Los Angeles, CA (p) 
Orange, CA 
Riverside, CA (p) 
San Bernardino, CA (p) 
Plumas County, CA Plumas, CA (p)
ID West Silver Valley, ID Shoshone, ID (p) 
OH Cleveland, OH Cuyahoga, OH
Lorain, OH
PA Delaware County, PA Delaware, PA
Lebanon County, PA Lebanon, PA
Allegheny, PA Allegheny, PA
4 states 9 areas 13 full counties, 7 partial counties

(p) – partial counties

Unclassifiable Areas:  insufficient quality assured monitoring data to assess compliance with the 2012 annual fine particle standard. 

State/Territory Area Name EPA Designated Unclassifiable Counties
PR Puerto Rico all areas
USVI Virgin Islands all of USVI (St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John)
IL Whole state Whole state
IN Chicago, IL-IN Lake, IN
Porter, IN
Louisville, KY-IN Clark, IN
Floyd, IN
KY Louisville, KY-IN Bullitt, KY (p)
Jefferson, KY
MO St. Louis, MO-IL St. Louis, MO
St. Louis City, MO
St. Charles, MO
Jefferson, MO
Franklin, MO
6 states/territories 3 states/territories, 3 areas 2 whole territories, 1 whole state, 9 whole counties, 1 city

Final Designations Deferred: EPA expects that additional monitoring data collected after 2013 will provide the requisite amount of valid data needed for designations. 

State EPA Deferred Counties
FL Alachua, FL
  Broward, FL
  Gilchrist, FL
  Miami-Dade, FL
  Palm Beach, FL

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Initial Designations for Tribes

On December 18, 2014, the EPA issued final area designations for the 2012 annual national air quality standard for fine particulate matter (PM2.5). EPA strengthened the annual fine particle standard to 12 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) in 2012.  After working closely with the states, and some tribes, EPA is completing the routine Clean Air Act process to identify areas as either “nonattainment”, “unclassifiable/attainment”, or “unclassifiable” based on air quality monitoring data from 2011-2013. Once designations are effective, they guide actions states, tribes and EPA must take to improve or preserve air quality in each area.  EPA will work with the states and tribes to share the responsibility of reducing fine particle pollution. 

The table below lists the final designations for tribes participating in the designations for the 2012 annual fine particle pollution standard.  All of the tribal lands except for areas of Indian country of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians are designated as part of the surrounding state areas.

EPA is designating all other areas of the country “unclassifiable/attainment.”  These areas have monitoring data that shows they meet the standard or EPA has reviewed available data and determined they are likely to be meeting the standard and not contributing to a nearby violation.

See also: Recommendations from Tribes and EPA Responses

Tribe 2014 EPA Designation
Big Sandy Rancheria Nonattainment
Cahuilla Band of Indians Nonattainment
Catawba Unclassifiable/Attainment
Cherokee Unclassifiable/Attainment
Choctaw Unclassifiable/Attainment
Coeur d'Alene Unclassifiable/Attainment
Cold Springs Rancheria Nonattainment
Eastern Shoshone Tribe Unclassifiable/Attainment
Fond du Lac Reservation Unclassifiable/Attainment
Forest County Potawatomi Community Unclassifiable/Attainment
Gila River Indian Community Unclassifiable/Attainment
Greenville Rancheria Unclassifiable/Attainment
Miccosukee Unclassifiable/Attainment
Morongo Band of Mission Indians Nonattainment
North Fork Rancheria Nonattainment
Northern Arapaho Tribe Unclassifiable/Attainment
Pala Band of Mission Indians Unclassifiable/Attainment
Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians Unclassifiable/Attainment
Picayune Rancheria Nonattainment
Poarch Unclassifiable/Attainment
Quechan Indian Tribe Unclassifiable/Attainment
Ramona Band of Cahuilla Indians Nonattainment
Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community Unclassifiable/Attainment
San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians Nonattainment
Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians Unclassifiable/Attainment
Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi Yokut Tribe Nonattainment
Seminole Unclassifiable/Attainment
Shoshone-Bannock Unclassifiable/Attainment
Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians Nonattainment
Table Mountain Rancheria Nonattainment
Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians Unclassifiable/Attainment
Tule River Indian Tribe Nonattainment
32 Tribes 20 unclassifiable/attainment, 12 nonattainment

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